First-Class Package Service

USPS has filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission to change the effective date for certain proposed classification changes designed to enhance and expand the First-Class Package Service product.

The changes were scheduled to be implemented on Jan. 8, 2023 — assuming a favorable review by the commission in 2022. However, following a vote by the Postal Service governors, USPS is now planning for a later effective date in 2023.

While no new date has yet been established, the Postal Service will provide 30 days’ notice before the changes go into effect.

The changes are in keeping with the Delivering for America 10-year plan to achieve financial stability and service excellence, defined as meeting or exceeding 95 percent on-time delivery across all product categories.

Right time

Driver looks in automobile's rearview mirror

The Postal Service wants to remind employees that they must not misuse their time while on the clock.

Federal regulations require postal employees to use their work time in an honest effort to perform their official duties.

Certain activities are prohibited while on duty, whether employees engage in them for one minute or several hours. These activities include:

• Viewing pornography and sexually explicit material or sending sex-related texts, known as “sexting.”

• Engaging in gambling, sports pools, gambling pools and pyramid schemes.

• Completing work for an outside employer or your own outside business.

• Illegally buying, selling or arranging to use drugs.

• Participating in partisan political activity.

• Participating in fundraising other than Combined Federal Campaign activities.

On-the-clock time should be used to perform postal tasks, not personal ones.

Employees, however, may use official time for personal tasks on a limited basis, as long as such use does not adversely affect their productivity, interfere with the Postal Service’s mission or operations, or violate ethics regulations.

For example, employees may call a restaurant while on duty to make a dinner reservation, but they may not watch a televised cooking show for their entertainment or take a call for an outside business.

Federal regulations also prohibit employees from encouraging, directing, coercing or requesting that their subordinates use their official time to perform activities other than their Postal Service duties.

For example, an employee should not ask a subordinate to perform a personal task, such as ordering flowers, picking up dry cleaning or making personal appointments.

Employees who have questions should call the USPS Ethics Office helpline at 202-268-6346 or send an email to ethics.help@usps.gov.

The Postal Service is observing Ethics Awareness Week from Aug. 15-19.